On July 1st, Junges Wissenschaftsforum Dahlem addressed the opportunities and challenges of international research cooperation. As part of Freie Universität Berlin’s first International Week, the event “Internationalizing Research: Strategies, Structures, and Support“ was co-organized by the Center for International Cooperation and provided information about institutional strategies as well as individual career paths and funding schemes.
The evening started off with the panel discussion “Internationalization 3.0 – Current Challenges and Models for Higher Education and Research”. Presented by Dr. Marion Müller from the Einstein Foundation Berlin, it featured university members as well as representatives of Higher Education policy and research funding organizations: biophysicist Prof. Dr. Ana-Nicoleta Bondar and Vice President Prof. Dr. Klaus Mühlhahn from Freie Universität Berlin, Dr. Anjana Buckow from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Dr. Volker Meyer-Guckel from the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. The speakers agreed that the internationalization of Higher Education Institutions involves many different levels: the development of strategic partnerships with matching funds, an administration familiar with foreign research cultures, as much as the quick and active integration of professors from abroad. Funding organizations and universities have to adapt even more to the implications of globalization, both in competing for the best candidates and in financing research projects transnationally.
Concluding the evening, three information sessions for junior researchers offered the opportunity to exchange international experiences as well as further ideas and suggestions for future internationalization. Nowadays, a longer research stay abroad is an implicit condition of most appointments of professors. Dr. Katja Hartmann from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation and Dr. Anjana Buckow from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft presented attractive post-doc programs and explained the application conditions. Prof. Mühlhahn und Prof. Bondar told the participants about their own international career paths. Linguistic integration was one important topic during their talks. As a native Romanian, Prof. Bondar encouraged the international audience to start teaching in German early on despite any initial setbacks. Dr. Herbert Grieshop and Matthias Kuder from the Center for International Cooperation presented information on internal funding options at Freie Universität Berlin, which has already taken several significant steps within the process of internationalizing research. Both speakers left no doubts that more are to follow in the close future.